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Allegedly drunk driver takes life of off-duty police officer

The recent death of a Philadelphia police officer has left many in the force shaken and upset. The 48-year-old officer was a 23-year veteran of the force. He had just finished his shift and was on his way to his home in Somerton, Pennsylvania, when he was struck by a drunk driver.

The drunk driving accident caused the off-duty police officer to die at the scene. He was still in his uniform at the time of the crash.

Authorities believe that the 48-year-old officer was traveling on Erie Avenue, heading north around 3:15 a.m. earlier this month. Another 48-year-old man from Levittown, Pennsylvania, was driving a charcoal Audi A-6 in the same area. Authorities believe that the driver was heading south in the northbound lanes when the crash occurred.

The man was charged with driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle and other related offenses. After the accident, he was being treated at a local hospital in police custody.

The deceased was an avid motorcyclist and was driving his Harley-Davidson Road King at the time of the accident. He and his wife had three children.

The deputy police commissioner said that many men and women in the department are distraught over the officer's death. Condolences from colleagues, neighbors, friends and even the mayor were reported.

According to reports, Highway Patrol officers escorted the body of the deceased from the accident scene to the Medical Examiner's Office in University City.

Since the man was not on duty and not executing his duties as a police officer, his family could decide to make the case for a wrongful death lawsuit if they so desire.

Source: Philadelphia Daily News, "Motorcycle cop dies in collision; other driver charged with drunk driving, vehicular homicide," Regina Medina, William Bender, Morgan Zalot and Julie Shaw, July 10, 2012

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Gregory R. Gifford
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